Monday, February 9, 2009

Questioning....

Lately, I have been questioning whether or not I am called to be a teacher. Up until two weeks ago I thought I had the best job ever. I also thought I was doing exactly what I was made to do (most of the days). However, the deep questions started about 3 weeks ago. Now, a lot has been happening in the past 3 weeks in my world. I have had both strep throat and the flu. I have had to review the retention guidelines and decide whose parents I need to break the news to. My husband has been working a horribly demanding schedule and I have seen him very little....and for some reason for the past 3 weeks my students have been unable to get along resulting in tears daily, tattling hourly, and continuosly listening to 1st grade drama. So, are these questions just a direct result of exhaustion, illness, and all of the things mentioned above....or is it more? Was I created to do something else? ...Yes, I believe that we are created with specific gifts, talents, and strengths. I believe that there is something that God created me to do that only I can do....the question I am asking myself is, is this it...is this what God longs for me to do?

You see, when I was in high school I learned about something called a "Child Life Specialist." From the time I heard about this I wanted to do it. According to Wikipedia, "Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with patients, their family and others involved in the child’s care in order to help them manage stress and understand medical and various procedures."The objectives of such services will be to minimize the negative impact of situational disruptions while maintaining individual growth and development and family relationships."
Now, for a paraphrased version of that....a child life specialist is there to be an encourager. This is the person that helps the patient relax, understand what is happening....but you are there best friend. You are there to be a light in a horrible experience, to the patient and to the family.
I was going to major in this but was told it's hard to get a job in this field, especially in MS where there aren't any major Children's Hospitals. I knew I wanted to do something with children...and that I was drawn to the sick or hurting...so I chose special education. After 1 semester of my jr. year special education classes I knew that special education wasn't going to fit that longing in my soul. So, I chose early childhood education. My senior year I came so close to changing my major to Child Life, but did not do it. Since moving away from MS, we have lived in cities with major children's hospitals....making my heart ache a little that I didn't choose Child Life.
Last year after teaching 1/2 a year in third grade I fasted and prayed asking which I should be. God specifically told me, "Stacey, stop trying to collect tomorrow's manna." So...it is nearly one year later and I am asking Him again.
I know that right now I am called to be the best possible teacher that I can be. But, my heart cries out for something else. Logically I am thinking, Stace...you already have a degree and credential to teach, you get summers off, you have a great schedule, you love children...you just need to stick with this. It is so much more convienent to just be a teacher. I am reminded though of a quote from Beth Moore, that says.."Convience doesn't build character." I also think....do I choose a job that I like or a job that I was created to do?
Basically, I have no idea....it's all just spinning in my head and aching in my heart. I just decided to spit it all out on this blog. So, if any of you read this and you know me....then by all means share your advice. I welcome all advice.
Thanks for listening!

4 comments:

Drew and Erika Hettinger said...

Back when I was a BTSA support provider they gave us this graph that outlined a year in the life of a beginning teacher. September they are all gung-ho...so excited. December comes around and they are sick, and exhausted. But, then Christmas break comes around, they get some rest, and in January they are ready to conquer the world. Then by February, they start to question if this is really the job for them...because inevitably, January doesn't go so well. There will be ups and downs until about Spring Break time,and then it's just a waiting game while the excitement for NEXT YEAR starts.

It's very normal to feel what you are feeling. Teaching is the hardest job on the planet...and all the people who say you are so lucky that you get summers off just don't get it.

I say, give it a few years. If after that time you still have a yearning for other options, then see about changing over. But, there is no way to make a rational decision in those first couple of years of teaching.

I know that you were made for working with children...whether it's in this capacity or another, who knows...you'll figure it out in time. :-)

-E

Rebecca said...

Poor thing! I think so many teachers feel this way. I also give it another year or two. When I taught in Houston, I complained and complained about my job. But now that I am not there anymore, I miss it so badly! The kids, the parents, the teachers, everything!

I know large children's hospitals with long term patients have teachers. I'm sure those jobs are hard to come by, but you might could see what is out there:)

Good luck! You are a blessing to each child you teach!

Carly Collins said...

You and I are in the same boat (but different career choice paths ahead of us...you know what I mean...:) ). Anyway, I am prayin for you and am here for you if you want to talk! Thanks for sharing your heart :) Love ya girl!!!

Anonymous said...

Now, for a paraphrased version of that....a child life specialist is there to be an encourager. This is the person that helps the patient relax, understand what is happening....but you are there best friend. You are there to be a light in a horrible experience, to the patient and to the family.

I would definitely say that as a teacher, you are all of these things. Don't you think? I think you described your job description totally! :) Just look a little deeper......
You are the person who encourages these sweet babies every day. When they might not have the role models at home to do so. You are one of the top influeces in their lives. You are someone they look up to and one they know they can turn to for love and understanding. Not just understanding about math and science, but understanding about their world....how to relate to and understand their friends, maybe how to understand why they have been treated a certain way, and how important it is to be that person who looks for ways every day to be a positive impact in someone else's life. And last but not least.......YOU ARE THE BRIGHTEST LIGHT in some of many of these babies' lives. Your children (students) look forward (way more than you realize)to seeing your smile each and every morning and hearing your words of encouragement throughout the day. Your hugs are the only affection that some will receive. They love you so much and so does our Heavenly Father for the impact you have had in their lives. Good luck in whatever career trail you take. From one teacher to another! :) Be happy....God Bless!